Vatican City, Dec 5, 2018 / 03:45 am America/Denver (CNA).
Learning to pray well is a continual process, but should always start from a place of humility, as Jesus demonstrated in the Gospels, Pope Francis said Wednesday.
“Even if we have been praying for so many years, we must always learn!” the pope said Dec. 5. “The prayer of man, this yearning that is born so naturally from his soul, is perhaps one of the most impenetrable mysteries of the universe.”
And the first step, he continued, is humility. “Go to the Father ... go to the Madonna, say: Look at me, I am a sinner, I am a debtor, I am disobedient… But begin with humility!”
This is in contrast to the prayer of the Pharisee, as told by Jesus in the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in the Gospel of Luke, Francis said. The Pharisee prayed from a place of pride, thanking God that he was “not like the rest of humanity.”
On the other hand, the tax collector, “would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’” According to Jesus, “only the latter, the tax collector, returns home from the temple justified,” the pope noted.